In the United Kingdom, the epidemiology, management strategies and outcomes from vascular trauma are unknown. The aim of this study was to describe the vascular trauma experience of a British Trauma Centre. A retrospective observational study of all patients admitted to hospital with traumatic vascular injury between 2005 and 2010. Vascular injuries were present in 256 patients (4.4%) of the 5823 total trauma admissions. Penetrating trauma caused 135 (53%) vascular injuries whilst the remainder resulted from blunt trauma. Compared to penetrating vascular trauma, patients with blunt trauma were more severely injured (median ISS 29 [18-38] vs. ISS 11 [9-17], p < 0.0001), had greater mortality (26% vs. 10%; OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.5-5.9; p < 0.01) and higher limb amputation rates (12% vs. 0%; p < 0.0001). Blunt vascular trauma patients were also twice as likely to require a massive blood transfusion (48% vs. 25%; p = 0.0002) and had a five-fold longer hospital length of stay (median 35 days (15-58) vs. 7 (4-13), p<0.0001) and critical care stay (median 5 days (0-11) vs. 0 (0-2), p < 0.0001) compared to patients with penetrating trauma. Multivariate regression analysis showed that age, ISS, shock and zone of injury were independent predictors of death following vascular trauma. Traumatic vascular injury accounts for 4% of admissions to a British Trauma Centre. These patients are severely injured with high mortality and morbidity, and place a significant demand on hospital resources. Integration of vascular services with regional trauma systems will be an essential part of current efforts to improve trauma care in the UK. Copyright © 2012 European Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.